Art Toombs Ministries 

Online Bible Commentary

Call in the Cavalry
 

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (NKJV)







The Book of Hebrews is divided into two main subjects. The first part refers to the superiority of Christ (1:1-10:18) and the second part refers to exhortations to obedient living (10:19-13:25).

Previously in this letter we have seen that Christ is superior to the prophets, the angels, mankind, Moses and Joshua. Now in this passage we see Christ’s superiority to Aaron, the brother of Moses and the first high priest to the Israelites.

This chapter has focused on the rest that God offers. God continues to offer rest to mankind even up to the present day.

The writer of this letter, the Apostle Paul, begins this passage with the word therefore, which refers to the previous passage. In the previous passage Christ was declared superior to Joshua because His rest in Heaven is superior to Joshua’s rest in the Promised Land.

As Christians, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us to remain faithful to our profession of faith in Jesus Christ. However, we can still have times of weakness where we give into sin, thereby quenching the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

Sin begins with unbelief in God. This unbelief manifests itself in not resting in the promises of God, as stated in the Bible.

Unfortunately, we sin, and we typically find ourselves giving in to the same sin, over and over again. That is because when Satan finds our weakness, he attacks us in that very area. This passage tells us how to deal with those moments when we are attacked.

Paul begins this passage with “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest… Jesus the Son of God (v. 14a). In dealing with sin, first, we need to remember that we have a “great High Priest”.

The Hebrews of the Old Testament had their own high priest, Aaron, as previously mentioned. The high priest fulfilled the role of representing the Hebrews before God.

The Hebrews of the Old Testament could not go directly to God. Even the high priest could only go before God one time a year.

However, since these Hebrews of the New Testament, to whom this letter was written, are now Christians, their high priest is God himself, Jesus Christ. So, they are able to go before God, themselves, anytime, anywhere.

So, Jesus Christ is the “great High Priest”. The word translated “great” is the Greek word “megas”. Our high priest is a “mega” high priest.

Think super hero, perhaps Superman, on steroids. He is greater than great. He has super powers and can do all things.

Paul continues with “who has passed through the heavens” (v. 14b). Jesus can even fly. He flew “through the Heavens”.

He flew through the first heaven (our atmosphere), the second heaven (our solar system), to the third heaven (beyond our solar system) to the place we call “Heaven” (2 Cor. 12:2). The cool thing is that we Christians also get to make that flight someday.

The phrase translated “passed through” is the Greek word “dieleluthota”, which is a perfect active participle of the word “dierchomai”. Since this word is of the perfect tense, it means that Jesus passed through the heavens and is still there. Jesus sits on His throne at the right hand of God the Father, as our mega high priest, and represents our case before the Father.

Paul continues by writing “let us hold fast our confession” (v. 14c). Because we have a mega high priest working for us, we are encouraged by Paul to hold firmly to the faith we profess.

Next, Paul writes “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses” (v. 15a).  Jesus is able, and willing, to “sympathize with our weaknesses”.

Paul writes “but was in all points tempted as we are” (v. 15b). He suffered when “tempted” by Satan, just as we do.

So, when we are tempted, Jesus knows exactly what we are going through and what we are feeling. Jesus suffers together with us when we are tempted.

Paul continues with “yet without sin” (v.15c). He also knows exactly what to do, because He was “without sin” He did not give in to the temptations of Satan when He was tempted (Mt. 4:1-11).

Next, Paul writes “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace” (v. 16a). Since Jesus knows exactly what to do to avoid sin, He, naturally, is our solution to avoiding sin.

We are to “come boldly” to His “throne of grace”. We do this by turning to prayer at the moment of our temptation.

But we do not approach the Lord in a timid, whiny, fashion. We come to Him boldly, with confidence, already believing that He will do what we ask.

Paul continues “that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help” (v. 16b). When we come boldly in prayer, we receive mercy and find grace to help us.

Mercy and grace are exactly what we need at this moment. His mercy covers the things we should have done, such as immediately running the other way when we first even get a scent of sin. His grace gives us the power to do what we need to do at that moment.

Paul concludes this passage by writing “in time of need” (v. 16c). His mercy and grace come in our “time of need”.

This phrase is a translation of the Greek word “eukairos”, which means “at the right moment”. Josephus used this word when writing of King Herod waiting for the right time to talk to his sons about who would succeed him.

It is the perfect time. Jesus sends his mercy and grace at the perfect time.

Think of a western movie when the troops are under attack. They are about to perish, and then they call in the Cavalry.

The Cavalry gets there just in the nick of time to save them. Jesus is our Cavalry.

When we call on Him, He will save us at the perfect moment that we need Him.

 

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